Adding an electric garage heater

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by scottman1027, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. Jan 31, 2008 #1

    scottman1027

    scottman1027

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    Hi. I would like to add an electric heater in my garage for supplemental heat. I am looking at a Dayton unit that hangs from the ceiling because I dont have any wall space for a wall type unit. The Dayton heater requires a 30 amp breaker, but I only have room left for one single pole breaker in my panel. Am I going to have to add a sub panel? Is there any way to consolidate some of the other 15 amp breakers to make room for the 30 amp? Any advise is welcome. Thanks.
     
  2. Jan 31, 2008 #2

    CraigFL

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    A lot of panels have replacement breakers that are duals-- one breaker slot serves two circuits. Using a couple of these will allow you to open up a place for a new 30A breaker without having to put in a sub panel.
     
  3. Jan 31, 2008 #3

    ToolGuy

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    A 30 amp is only one breaker. You would need 2 spaces only if it is 220 volts. ;)
     
  4. Jan 31, 2008 #4

    guyod

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    Assuming it is a 220v and your breaker box does not accept duel breakers(most older ones don't). . Just go through all your breakers and determine what the load is for each. .. For example most houes do not need a seperate breaker for there dining room and foyer... you can connect 2 wires to a breaker but if it doesnt reach you can make a junction box next to the breaker box.. if you have central air you can create a junction box and steal from that as long as the breaker is between 30 and 40 amps.. this probably isnt an accepted thing to do but who uses an a/c and heater at the same time.

    Hope this helps...
     
  5. Jan 31, 2008 #5

    scottman1027

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. Sorry I was not clear on the 30 amp breaker part, it is a 220 unit so I need 2 spaces instead of one. Thanks CraigFL for the idea about the dual breakers, that would free up the extra space I need. A guy at work ( definetly not an electrician ) said I should add up all the breaker values in my panel and if that exceeds the service amount then I would need another panel. Any truth to that? Thanks again!
     
  6. Jan 31, 2008 #6

    guyod

    guyod

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    Thats not true. Generally panels are designed to handle as many breakersas it has slots. 100amp breaker panels have set amount of slots 200amp would have more. You can figure out a live load too see if you exceed your service load. That is what you are actually using and not what the maximum is before the breaker kicks..
     
  7. Jan 31, 2008 #7

    kok328

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    You may want to recognize that some items are required by code to be on a dedicated circuit (i.e.-stove, frig, washer, dryer, sump pump, etc...). From there, you will be able to determine how many open slots you can create.
    While your considering the draw on each circuit, you may also want to load balancing the box.
     
  8. Feb 1, 2008 #8

    scottman1027

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    Thanks again for the replies.:)

    Do the dual breakers have the same circuit protection as the singles?

    Is there a general rule of thumb as to how many loads ( lights, plugs , tv, etc.. ) can be on a general lighting 15 amp breaker?

    Thanks for the advise!
     
  9. Feb 1, 2008 #9

    guyod

    guyod

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    Yes, But you need to find out if your panel can take one. they are only made for a few panels mostly newer panel and there is dozen different types.


    15 amps x 120v = 1800 watts

    Almost every electronic device has a wattage on it.. Just add them up
     
  10. Feb 1, 2008 #10

    triple D

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    If your panel was manufactured in the last 30 years you can get a peanut or tandem breaker for it. All you do is remove 2 breakers that are same size, like single pull 20's or 15's, and replace with peanut. This opens up one spot wich is all you need, cause you already said one was open? Good luck, and if you are not an electrician, always turn off main breaker before working in panels or with power at all....and you probably should have somebody around to watch ya.
     
  11. Feb 1, 2008 #11

    scottman1027

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    Ok I just went and looked in the panel and it already has a couple dual breakers in there. ( Duh, should have looked in there to begin with :D )
    So now I assume the panel accepts them since they are in there, is there a specific type or brand I should look for? Maybe just match what is already there?

    I am comfortable with replacing/adding 110v breakers, that I have done. Adding a 220v will be new for me. Any advise or safety tips besides turning off the main power first? What size wire should I run for a 30 amp 220v circuit?

    Thanks again for all the help!
     
  12. Feb 1, 2008 #12

    triple D

    triple D

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    It's always safest to match the brands when buying breakers. The wire you need is a 10-2 Romex w/grnd. This wire will work for a unit that does not require a neutral. If you need a neutral, you must run a 10-3. Be sure to color the white wire with a black or red or brown Sharpie or permanent marker in the panel full length and in the heater as this correctly identifies the wire as a current-carrying conducter.
     
  13. Feb 1, 2008 #13

    scottman1027

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    Thanks for the advise. Are those peanut breakers like half the size of a normal breaker? If so, sounds like a couple of those would do the trick. :)
     
  14. Feb 1, 2008 #14

    guyod

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    I always get the wrong breaker when i go to buy one.. i would take a break with you to match it up. just make sure the brand is the same and has the same prongs on the back..

    The first time I install a 220 breaker it was on a sub panel box and 220 would only work in certain spots which i didn't know.. i went crazy for like 2 days trying to figure it out. but i don't think main panel should have that problem..


    the peanut breakers are the same size as a normal breaker there is just 2 breakers in 1 circuit breaker.
     
  15. Feb 1, 2008 #15

    scottman1027

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    Glad I am not the only one that buys the wrong breaker the first time! :eek:

    Taking the old breaker along sounds like a good idea. Thanks for the help!
     
  16. Feb 18, 2008 #16

    jack3140

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    just a little caution here make sure the spaces are on the same side of the panel in order to get 240volts
     
  17. Oct 6, 2009 #17

    henrywilson

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    Only 30 amp is available. Here I am sending you a link where you can get the more information about your need.electric panel heaters
    This may help you. Thanks for sharing with us.
     

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